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Friday, May 14, 2004

Rite of passage

"Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel like I should be doing something else."
—Gloria Steinem

For the past year or so, I've been privileged to counsel a young woman about her career in journalism. And I just wanted to take the time today to wish her well because tomorrow she will walk across the stage at the Cleveland State University Convocation Center to receive her diploma.

I first met Jen Boresz last year before the SPJ Ted Scripps Leadership Conference in Indianapolis. We spent a lot of time together, particularly in the airports. But what I saw in her was a certain verve that I, too, possessed at that age. Throughout the past year, I've talked Jen through several issues from what to wear to a professional event to whether or not to take a certain job.

I've helped her with her resume, given her suggestions for people to call for freelance work and counseled her on the pressures that young women face after college graduation—marriage, family, relocation, etc. Maybe I'm spoiling her giving her such a nice cushion into the real world, but I feel it's a calling to help other young women.

It's hard when you're left to twist in the wind with little to no guidance. But the real world can wait until next week. This weekend is for celebrations. Congratulations, Jen! I'm proud of you.

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